Interview with Mike Deodato Jr.
- Aug 28, 2012
Today we have the honour to present this interview with brazilian comic book artist, Mike Deodato Jr. Mike was one of the brazilian pioneers on writing comic stories for a worldwide crowd, in this interview he shares his point of view creative process, influences and other topics. Hope you enjoy it.
If you want to know more about Mike, you can access his Official Website.
1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when you got interested for illustration and comics?
My interest in comics began when I was a child -- which I guess is what happens with most kids who catch the comic book "bug." On top of that, my father was a writer and artist in the Brazilian comic book industry, so I sort of grew up around comics that way. He introduced me to a lot of comicdom's masters' works, and that propelled me into a lifelong interest that continues unabated to this day. My dad looks at what I'm doing now with quite a bit of pride.
2) Which artists do you use for reference?
Everybody. Certainly, my inspirations have been Neal Adams and, for awhile, Marc Sivestri and Jim Lee, but in the past 12 years or so I've gone in far different directions. I learn a little bit from everybody. I look at a lot of comics from all over the world and try to learn from everything I see. I don't want to be static.
3) Your style is quite influenced by classic american comics . How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?
I'd describe it as the "Mike Deodato style." There's a show that used to be on American TV, "Breaking the Magician's Code." I get a real kick out of "Breaking the Artist's Code," study a great artist's work and understanding his thought processes as to how he or she comes to the creative decisions each makes. Most artists see a guy whose stuff they like and try to simulate the surface style. For me, it's connecting with that artist's thinking process, learning how they process everything to interpret reality in their drawing.
4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.
It's a classic combination of instinct, attitude, and planning. I usually find that, as soon as I read a story and absorb it into my brain, my first ideas for the layouts -- the storytelling -- are usually the right ones. My instincts are right, having drawn comics for so many years.
The planning includes all the references, the making proper perspectives, all the technical stuff that needs to be there to make a good, professional drawing. The attitude is my approach that I need to keep learning and experimenting and growing as an artist, so that it's never boring for me, for the editors, or for my fans.
5)What's the best thing about working with comics and what is the worst?
The best? I get to draw stories of my favorite characters that are enjoyed by readers all over the world! The worst? That the schedule never ends. I have to plan my life with my wife and daughter around the monthly schedules, and plan my rare convention appearances around the monthly schedules. There's little time to draw for my own pleasure, my own projects.
6) How do you describe your daily routine?
Drawing, food, drawing, food, drawing, Skype, martial arts, shower, hugs and kisses to Paula, food, TV, sleep.
7) Which is your favorite piece so far?
The NEXT thing that I'll be drawing. I'm always striving to get better. I do have a soft spot in my heart for the COVERS that I'm drawing for Marvel, because I'm always experimenting with pens, brushes, Copic markers, bent twigs, burning bushes, or whatever else I can get my hands on.
8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every comic book illustrator.
* Learn to draw well. Understand how to draw everything before you interpret it to the comics page.
* Tell a story. Your art, no matter how flashy, must still be in service to the story.
* Listen to your editors and agents. They're n the trenches dealing with the buying public, so they have advice that will keep you on your toes so you don't get sloppy.
* COMMUNICATE. Update your editor every day, like clockwork.
* Meet your deadlines. An editor publishes pages, not excuses.
9) Tell us some websites from you.
jadewarriors.keenspot.com, which is a free website serializing my ol' JADE WARRIORS comics mini-series I did at Image.
My Kickstarter campaign for the next 13 days for my upcoming book THE CARTOON ART OF MIKE DEODATO, JR.
10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.
Sure. Don't take shortcuts! You can't be a great comics artist without first becoming a great artist. Learn to draw well. THEN adapt your style to comics. Learn storytelling. Learn dependability. Learn from critiques. If editors point out stuff that's wrong with your work, FIX IT and resubmit or you haven't learned from the experience. Don't post in your portfolio pages that need corrections. As they say, "Doctors bury their mistakes, artists post their for the whole world to see". Oh -- and buy my books! You can learn a lot from them, too!